- England; the English people.
- the typical Englishman.
Origin of John Bull
1705–15; named after John Bull, chief character in Arbuthnot's allegory The History of John Bull (1712)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for john bull
- a personification of England or the English people
- a typical Englishman
C18: name of a character intended to be representative of the English nation in The History of John Bull (1712) by John Arbuthnot
Word Origin and History for john bull
"Englishman who exemplifies the national character," 1772, from name of a character representing the English nation in Arbuthnot's satire "History of John Bull" (1712).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.